If you’re looking for a quick, easy, extremely versatile cake that is always delicious and can be super healthy, indulgent, allergy friendly or even a diabetics delight then this is the cake for you.

Let me give it to you straight, this cake will not win you first prize at the Easter Show but it will win you some major brownie points at home.

This is a wonderful recipe that i use for whipping up either a cake for myself and my friends or some mini muffins for my one year old son. Yep, that’s right, i can make a “cake” so healthy that i am happy to feed it to my baby. How do i do this?

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – and all you need is a bowl, a mixing implement and an oven – oh, and a cup measure is handy too!

Let me preface this recipe by saying that  i absolutely never use a whole cup of sugar ( actually i rarely use sugar at all), but feel free to make your own decisions based on the cake you choose to bake – that’s the beauty of this recipe.

The basic premise is this:

  1. 1 cup flour
  2. 1 cup cereal
  3. 1 cup wet ingredients (egg, milk, yogurt, ricotta etc)
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 1 cup fruit

Mix all ingredients and bake in an oven at about 180C (or 160C fan forced). Keep an eye on this and adjust the temperature and time depending on your oven and the ingredients you have used.

It’s that simple. Really.

The person who bakes a fair bit and has that basic baking common sense will understand how to change the recipe to suit themselves. The rest of us, myself included, will sometimes need a bit of a helping hand, and for those people here are few things i have learned about each component of this recipe:

  1. FLOUR: If you don’t have self-raising flour, just use plain flour and add a teaspoon of baking powder. I also add more baking powder if i think the cake is a bit heavy and needs help rising.
  2. CEREAL: I generally use quick cooking oats as they cook well and you can’t see or taste them in the final product. You could also use Just Right, All Bran, Muesli or any combination of cereal you like. You could even use coconut or substitute some nuts if you like.
  3. WET INGREDIENTS: Take your measuring cup and just fill it up to the 1 cup mark with whatever you would like. Usually i use a mixture of skim milk and yogurt. If i want a better quality cake then i may use a mixture of 1 egg, melted butter and some milk. If you’re dairy intolerant then try soy milk. If you want something a bit different then try half milk, half ricotta.
  4. SUGAR: As i mentioned, i never use a whole cup of sugar, especially if the cake is for kids or babies. In fact, you can leave this component out of the cake all together. If you use flavoured yogurt or sweet apples or banana then you won’t even miss the sugar. I mostly add just a tablespoon of honey, golden syrup or maybe a quarter cup of brown sugar. If you do want the sugar but not the calories then try a sugar replacement.
  5. FRUIT: This is the really fun part! You can use fresh, tinned or dried fruit. Each will give you a different textured cake. You can even add nuts, coconut or grated vegetables for a savoury muffin. Mix it up a bit, try half a cup of one fruit and half of another with a few nuts thrown in. Just be sure not to add nuts to the kids muffins!

A few ideas to get you started:

  • Grated carrot, apple and walnuts with egg, milk and butter
  • Mashed banana and sultanas with milk and butter replacement (like rice bran oil or nuttelex)
  • Chopped red apple with milk and yogurt
  • Dried apricots, raisins, pinenuts and grated apple with muesli and yogurt
  • banana with brown sugar, butter and full cream milk
  • Chocolate chips and raspberries with cream and milk
  • Strawberries and ricotta

Choose the flavours you like or use whatever you have in the cupboard – happy baking!